Monday, May 18, 2009


Art is the basis of our modern knowledge of ancient civilizations. Before the paintings and sculptures of ancient Rome and Greece, there were cave paintings and rock carvings in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and, yes, Azerbaijan. On Saturday we visited Gobustan, , ancient caves that were inhabited by the native people of Azerbaijan several thousand years before Christ.

Gobustan is still naturally in tact; the carvings may have begun to disintegrate and the living spaces may be overgrown with plant life, but the overall structure is picturesque. There are dirt walkways and stone seats, fire pits contained by rock, water reservoirs carved in stone, drums made out of hollow stone, and natural shelter from the boulders. Each living space has images carved into the stonewalls such as stick figures, bulls, horses, boats, and dancing rituals. The scenes held meaning at one time, depicting a battle or a revered animal. This is an exciting location to visit, but tourists should beware of the current inhabitants of the caves: lizards and colorful snakes. Gobustan has evidence of different periods in history of Azerbaijan including some of the earliest human settlements, visits by legions of the Roman army, Arabic invasions, and more.


  1. Great pictures. Glad you included links to other sites.

  2. Wow, what breathtaking landscape. Seems like you and your students are having a fab time. I cannot wait to hear the "stories" of the journey from your vantage point as I consider a program to India next year.

    How's my sweetie, Havva? Tell her that I asked about her and am looking forward to seeing her smiling face soon---yours, too.